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THE INVESTOR
May 22, 2018
Big Reunion

Samsung

Samsung to run new control tower to fill leadership vacuum

  • PUBLISHED :November 03, 2017 - 15:41
  • UPDATED :November 03, 2017 - 15:42
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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics’ newly established team, called the business support task force, will likely serve as a temporary control tower amid the absence of heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jay-yong, according to sources on Nov. 3.

While announcing its annual executive shakeup the previous day, the firm said that it would set up a special team, aimed at creating synergy between the tech giant and other affiliates in the IT sector.




The new team will be led by Jung Hyun-oh, Samsung president and a former member of the now-dismantled Future Strategy Office, which used to serve as a decision-making body.

“It has been difficult for top executives of Samsung affiliates to work in a concerted manner due to the nonexistence of a control tower,” said an official, adding the new team will soon address exactly how it would be run.

The firm’s Future Strategy Office was dismantled in February this year for allegedly orchestrating bribes to the now-impeached former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil. The Samsung heir is in jail for related allegations.

The absence of Lee and several top managers who went down with him, punctuated by Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s hospitalization in 2014, has dealt a serious blow to the tech behemoth. Many of the firm’s important management decisions, such as organizational restructuring, executive reshuffle, and M&A deals, have been delayed.

The new team, dubbed a “mini control tower” by outsiders for its relatively small size, will work hand-in-hand with the top brass from Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display and Samsung Electro-Mechanics.

Top execs from battery producer Samsung SDI and IT solutions firm Samsung SDS are also likely to participate in the team’s meetings concerning their respective businesses.

The Korean tech firm has also set up a new R&D unit Samsung Research which combines the firm’s two existing research divisions -- one for finished products and the other for software. The new organization will be headed by consumer electronics CEO Ki Hyun-suk.

All the CEOs of the firm’s three key businesses -- components, consumer electronics, and smartphone -- have been replaced in this year’s unprecedentedly large-scale reshuffle.

The outgoing CEOs, however, will remain at the tech giant to offer advice on the company’s general management decisions, according to Samsung.

Samsung Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, who led the firm’s components business unit, was named chairman of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, a research center, while Yoon Book-keun, former CEO of the consumer electronics division, will take charge of corporate relations. Former mobile division CEO Shin Jong-kyun will be involved in nurturing the next leaders of the firm, the company said.

New CEOs Ki Ki-nam, Kim Hyun-suk and Koh Dong-jin will lead the components, consumer electronics, and smartphone divisions, respectively.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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